Neutron Radiography using a High-Flux Compact Thermal Neutron Generator

Rittenhouse, Katie; Phoenix Nuclear Labs; United States

Taylor, M.; Phoenix Nuclear Labs; USA
Seyfert, C.; Phoenix Nuclear Labs; USA
Sengbusch, E.; Phoenix Nuclear Labs; USA
Radel, R.; Phoenix Nuclear Labs; USA

ID: ECNDT-0255-2018

A novel neutron imaging system has been designed and constructed by Phoenix Nuclear Labs to investigate specimens when conventional X-ray imaging will not suffice. A first-generation electronic neutron generator is actively being used by the United States Army and is coupled with activation films for neutron radiography to inspect munitions and other critical defense and aerospace components. This method of radiography can also be broadly applied to any specimen where the exterior structure prohibits interrogation by even high energy X-rays. A second-generation system has been designed to increase the total neutron output from an upgraded gaseous deuterium target to 3×1011 DD n/s, generating higher neutron flux at the imaging plane. This will dramatically reduce interrogation time and maintain high spatial resolution and low geometric unsharpness. A description of the neutron generator and imaging system, including the beamline, target, and detector, is given in this presentation. State of the art neutron moderators, collimators and imaging detector components are also discussed in the context of increasing specimen throughput and optimizing image quality. Neutron radiographs captured with this radiography system will be further compared against images generated by the MCNP nuclear simulation code.